Saturday, August 5, 2017

Revisiting Murchison

Our first trip to Murchison was memorable enough--who could forget the walk to the Natural Flames? This time we're staying at a campground with occasional roving livestock and on this sunny day we strolled the town. Here's the view out our caravan window with morning coffee.

Parked next door are Andy and Amber, who restored and outfitted a classy Volvo bus, previously used for both city transit and schoolchildren. They're on the road, traveling and living in it with their two adorable youngsters.

Go to Bus Life NZ and check out their videos. 

We had a tour this afternoon. The interior is gorgeous and perfectly utilitarian. All done by a guy who never owned a power tool before starting. Kiwi ingenuity! Note the kids on the big bed in the distance. They each have their own bunk built into the side of the hallway toward the back.

Amber showed me around the kitchen and relaxing area in front. It's a good life.

We walked into Murchison, warmer here than in the mountains (and warmer still tomorrow, when we'll drive to the top of the South Island). Here's the Anglican church, looking like a painting in the noon light.

Our secret intention is to visit Murchison's wee French Bakery, which gets rave reviews from everyone, including Julie, the New York City photog we met on Waiheke Island.

The owners are Dutch (him) and French (her) and signed their lease on this little beauty one day after the earthquake in Kaikoura last November, which had the effect of diverting massive amounts of traffic through Murchison. He told us summers are crazy busy.

I won't say how I know, but those chocolate eclairs had some fierce magic.

For a town that had a population of 496 in 2006, the bakery is a happy addition.

We popped into the Murchison Museum for a look back in time. 

This exchange was used here until December 1987.

One ringy dingy, paging Ernestine. To view this classic video if reading in email, click here.

Assayer's scale for gold from the NZ gold rush

On to the secondhand store, where a box of old stamp issues held me in thrall. I could have been a philatelist. Tokelau noose fishing?

We walked to the river and passed these Jersey cows, "hand raised by us," according to the woman around whom they gathered like a pack of happy dogs. 

These charming tables are strapped onto the log in front of them, welcoming anyone with a chair to sit down and reflect...or enjoy a picnic lunch with a view of the Matakitaki River.

Good evening, campers. See you tomorrow in Motueka.

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